Why concealed carry for runners is a challenge
When you’re running you’re likely wearing lightweight workout clothing that isn’t meant to support a lot of weight. They are designed to make exercising more comfortable but not to carry a lot of weight. In the concealed carry world people are often guilty of overemphasizing the gun but in this case, your gun choice is very important.
How to choose a concealed carry gun for running?
The biggest factor for most people when choosing a gun for running or jogging should be weight. If a gun is light you’re much more likely to carry it and it’ll be easier to carry. When you’re jogging your body is obviously moving a lot with a bouncing momentum. A lightweight gun is less likely to move around and easier to keep in place than a heavier setup. Also the less weight you’re carrying the better it’ll be on your joints.
The most important thing is that you choose a gun holster for running that holds the gun tight to the body. If you’ve ever tried running with your phone in a normal pocket you know it feels like twice as heavy bouncing around then in a specialty pocket near the waistband that reduces movement.
You also need to take into consideration the threats you’re carrying a gun to guard against. If you live in rural Montana in an area with a high Grizzly Bear population. You’ll likely need a 10mm at a minimum or large bore revolver like a 44 magnum. That is obviously a different threat than the average person running through an urban or suburban area could be facing. The environment dictates everything.
Consider the most likely threats in your area and what tactics you would plan to use. In my rural area, a rabid animal(dog, Raccoon, Coyote, etc.) is a much more likely threat than one of the two-legged variety. In a more urban environment, you’re probably more likely to face evil humans and have fewer options for escaping due to the infrastructure in the area.
Gun Suggestions for Runners
- Very lightweight and easy to conceal weighing in under 11 ounces.
- This gun is very hard to get a good grip on and shoot accurately unless you have really small hands.
- Sights are basically non-existent
- 380 is a very ballistically effective round
- High recoil
- 6+1 Capacity
Ruger LCP 2 22
- It’s a very easy gun to shoot
- Low recoil
- 10+1 capacity
- Decent penetration with 22LR
- 22 LR isn’t known for its ballistic power
Rimfires are known to be less reliable and more ammo sensitive than centerfire so if you choose this round you’ll want to make sure the ammo you choose works well in the gun.
Ruger LCR 22
- 9 round capacity
- Reliability being a revolver
- Decent sights
- Low recoil
- At just under 15 ounces it’s a little heavier than other options
- Heavy double action trigger
Smith and Wesson 43c
- At just over 11 ounces it’s very lightweight.
- 8 round capacity
- Front night sight
- Low recoil
- Heavy trigger
Smith and Wesson 642
- Affordably priced and widely available
- 38 while not incredibly powerful is probably the most effective out of the calibers listed
- Heavier than other options at just under 15 ounces
- Hard to shooter
- Higher recoil
- Poor sights
- Honorable mentions
These guns didn’t make the top of the list due to weight but if you’re willing to deal with the extra weight these will all be easier to shoot and offer more power.
- Glock 42
- Glock 43
- Sig P365
- Smith and Wesson Shield
Ways to Carry a Gun While Running
Standard Kydex Holster with Discreet Carry Concepts Clip or Clips
If you’re carrying a small and light enough gun then you might be able to carry with your normal holster as long as it has a discreet carry concepts clip so it’ll hold your running clothing without issue.
A couple of years ago I would have recommended the Ulticlip for your running holster but gear evolves and Discreet Carry Concepts products’ reliability has greatly surpassed the Ulticlip offerings.
Setting up your gun holster for running is as much about where you wear the holster and your clothing as it is the jogging holster itself.
Throughout daily life I carry AIWB and if I don’t carry at the appendix I’m carrying at the 4 o’clock but when I run I carry my jogging holster at 3 o’clock. The reason I carry my jogging holster at 3 o’clock is that the waistband has the most tension on the hips.
That tension will give the most support to the holster. I personally throw my phone in my left pocket to counterbalance the gun on my right side.
You need to have a very sturdy elastic waistband or you’ll need to tie your drawstring tight enough to support the weight of the gun.
A standard Kydex holster will likely be the same method of drawing the gun that you use with your daily carry so you don’t have to add a new skill for your running holster.
The biggest pro of this setup is it covers a minimal amount of your body with non-breathable material reducing discomfort.
From a sanitary standpoint, a Kydex holster is easy to wipe down with soap water, or disinfectant. The Kydex also won’t absorb smells, sweat, and bacteria like most textiles.
Hill People Gear Chest Rig
Concealed carrying for runners with a larger gun is made easier with the Hill People Gear runner’s kit bag. The runners kit bag is a chest harness that can hold a large frame short barrel revolver or a full-size duty gun.
If you’re running in bear country and feel you need a larger gun then this is likely the best option.
It’ll be a little slower to draw a gun than using a standard Kydex holster and you’ll have to practice using the system to reliably draw the gun.
In my opinion, the biggest advantage of this system is it’ll center the weight on your chest. If you’re running long distances where you want to carry more items with you this runner’s kit bag will do double duty.
Thunderwear And Smart Carry
Two fairly popular options for exercise are there all Smart Carry and Thunderwear. These designs have been around for decades in various forms but they’re a denim-like material that is sewed into a belt with a built-in holster that attaches via velcro.
These are designed to carry the gun below the beltline when you wear it as a gun holster for running to keep the gun from bouncing around below your beltline you’ll want to wear the belt portion high on the hips so the waistband of your shorts holds the gun in place.
The material isn’t very breathable so you’ll generate a lot of heat in those areas and personally, it adds to much bulk for my taste and I’m a little sketched out carrying a gun in a soft holster with no rigid covering of the trigger guard when running or jogging.
The bulky material can look like you’re wearing a diaper with more modern athletic clothing.
Most of the belly bands on the market aren’t that good and the price is usually a good indicator of the level of quality.
They don’t offer a good way to cover the trigger guard with a rigid material so safety is also a concern.
They’ll need to be washed and you’ll likely have to hand wash them to prevent damage so if you’re using it as a gun holster for running and need it on a daily basis you’ll likely want to buy multiple so you can allow them time to dry after washing.
You’ll also need to replace them at regular intervals just like your running shoes.
Not to mention the amount of heat they create when wearing, you’ll likely find the placement of where they’re designed to be worn uncomfortable and awkward.
There are a variety of contraptions that are designed as a gun holster for running but a lot of them are sketchy.
There are T-shirts that have built in pockets designed to carry a gun. If you hung the weight of the gun off of your T-shirt would that make you feel good?
There are also shoulder holster setups but they seem like they’d take a long time to access your gun and concealment and natural range of motion could be hindered.
Most of these products are made overseas by companies looking to take advantage of a market they know nothing about.
Fanny packs present a reasonably acceptable option as long as you find one that holds the gun close enough to the body that it won’t bounce around.
For the majority of runners, a good Kydex holster like our Icon or Singleton with a Discreet Carry Concepts Clip that you can wear at the 3 o’clock with normal athletic clothing is the best option.
You can easily clean the holster and use it for normal concealed carry or lounging around the house in your sweatpants. It’s not just a good gun holster for running.
If you need to carry a large gun or want to carry other items beyond what you want in your pockets then the Hill people gear Runner kit is going to be hard to beat.
Some Running Carry Questions
What is a good holster for running with shorts?
The most important thing for a running holster that works with is that it’s safe, lightweight, and has minimal bulk.
What is the best gun holster for running?
The best gun holsters for running are the Icon and Singleton holsters paired with a gun with a weight you find comfortable.
What is a good gun holster for running with shorts?